small business credit cardsThe end of 2017 is drawing near, and amidst all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, you might find yourself wondering what you can do to take your business to the next level. If you aren’t using a credit card designed specifically for small business owners to cover your expenses, then you are missing out. Small business credit cards are a smart pick because they not only let you completely separate your personal financial transactions from your professional ones (especially helpful when tax season rolls around), but they also offer you and your employees the ability to accumulate rewards in the form of cash back or travel miles that can be put back into the business. Many of the small business credit cards that earn rewards are tailored toward the kinds of purchases businesses make, and most allow you to get free cards to give to your employees so you can reach your maximum earning potential while keeping an eye on expenses for accounting purposes.

Not sure which of the many small business credit cards out there is right for your company? We’ve detailed the cream of the crop to help you decide.

Best small business credit cards

Which is the best small business credit card?

If you want to earn cash back in specific categories

small business credit cardsThe Ink Business Cash Credit Card is our top-rated small business credit card for a number of reasons that become obvious when you look at the plentiful perks it offers: strong cash back earning opportunities, a hefty intro bonus and no annual fee to start. Your business can maximize its rewards with the ability to earn 5% cash back on up to $25,000/year in combined office supply, cable, Internet and telecom service purchases, 2% cash back on up to $25,000/year in purchases at restaurants and gas stations and 1% cash back on everything else. As noted, you can also reap what you sow in the form of a $300 cash back bonus for spending $3,000 on purchases within your first 3 months of account opening. In addition to the aforementioned $0 annual fee, you’ll enjoy 12 months of 0% intro APR on both purchases and balance transfers (bear in mind, there is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater). Rounding Ink Business Cash Credit Card out are helpful features like purchase protection and extended warranty, a mobile app that lets you easily photograph and organize your receipts and additional employee cards at no cost.

small business credit cardsAnother superb choice for business owners is the SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card from American Express (a NextAdvisor advertiser), which offers a respectable 5% cash back on purchases at U.S. office supply stores and U.S. wireless telephone services, 3% cash back on purchases in a category of your choice and 1% on everything else. The 5% and 3% cash back applies to a maximum of $50,000/year, which gives you some pretty solid earning potential, and the ability to choose your own category for your 3% cash back means you can make SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card fit your business’ needs. There are 8 available categories, and the list includes things like purchases at U.S. gas stations, hotel rooms purchased directly from hotels, shipping purchases made in the U.S. and more. You can change the category once per year during the enrollment period, which adds to the flexibility of this card’s rewards. When it comes to bonuses, you can get $200 after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first 6 months and another $200 after spending an additional $10,000 on top of that in your first year as a cardholder — that’s $400 back for spending $15,000 in your first year. This card also offers other perks, like a $0 annual fee and a 9-month 0% intro APR on purchases, as well as free employee cards and a Receipt Match feature that helps you easily manage expenses by computer or phone app. Finally, the SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card is the only card on this list that allows you to spend over your limit without paying an overlimit fee or having to let the issuer know. Keep in mind that the amount you spend above your card’s limit is due in full each month as part of your minimum payment and the amount you can spend is not unlimited — it’s based on your use of the card, payment history, credit record and more. Still, if your business needs access to some extra funds, it’s a solid option.

If you want to earn a flat cash back rate on all purchases

small business credit cardsThose who prefer a more straightforward, no-nonsense approach to earning cash back will appreciate the Capital One Spark Cash for Business, which earns a flat 2% cash back on every purchase, period. Spend $4,500 on purchases in your first 3 months and Capital One will give you $500 back as a bonus, and take advantage of a waived annual fee your first year (it’s $95 after that). This card does not charge any foreign transaction fees, making it a smart choice for international business travel, and you can get employee cards at no additional cost to be sure that all company expenses contribute toward your rewards. Perks like purchase security, extended warranty protection and travel and emergency services are also available to owners of this credit card. If the annual fee is a complete deal-breaker for you, consider the Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business, which never charges an annual fee and earns 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

small business credit cardsAll of the other cards we highlight in this post require excellent or good to excellent credit for approval (typically considered credit scores of 700 or higher), which can be frustrating if you’re a business owner with a few dings on their credit history. Fortunately, the Capital One Spark Classic for Business fills the gap. Available to those with average, fair or limited credit, this business credit card earns 1% cash back on every purchase and also does not charge an annual fee — something you don’t often see with cards designated for people with poor credit. In addition to business-oriented benefits like no-cost employee cards and year-end summaries, this credit card does not charge foreign transaction fees and is a perfect choice for those who want to build their credit with responsible use.

If you want to earn travel rewards

small business credit cardsThe Capital One Spark Miles for Business rewards users with 2 miles for every $1 spent without any limits or minimums to worry about. Miles can be redeemed for travel either by booking directly through the Capital One Rewards Center or paying yourself back online after booking travel your way, and since you won’t be paying any foreign transaction fees, this card is the perfect companion for jet-setting business travelers wherever you go. As an added incentive, when you spend $4,500 on purchases in your first 3 months, you’ll get a 50,000-mile bonus in return (equal to $500 in travel). Other features of this card include no annual fee your first year (afterward, it’s $95) and free employee cards.

small business credit cardsFly high with the Bank of America Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard credit card, which delivers with no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees and a 9-month 0% intro APR on purchases. You’ll earn 3 points per $1 spent when booking travel directly through the Bank of America Travel Center – powered by Orbitz and unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on everything else. Next, cardholders who spend a minimum of $1,000 on purchases in their first 60 days of owning the card will get a 25,000-point bonus (redeemable for a $250 travel statement credit). Bank of America also provides you with helpful business cash flow management tools, additional cards at no cost and a host of travel protections including travel accident insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, trip cancellation coverage, and trip delay reimbursement.

Not seeing what you’re looking for? We’ve detailed even of the best business credit cards on our reviews page, so check those out and be sure to follow our small business blog for advice on all kinds of business-related topics.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This content was accurate at the time of this post, but card terms and conditions may change at any time. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.